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Other titles in the California Studies in Critical Human Geography series:
California Studies in Critical Human Geography #1: Changing Fortunesby Karl S. Zimmerer
Synopses & Reviews
Two of the world's most pressing needs—biodiversity conservation and agricultural development in the Third World—are addressed in Karl S. Zimmerer's multidisciplinary investigation in geography. Zimmerer challenges current opinion by showing that the world-renowned diversity of crops grown in the Andes may not be as hopelessly endangered as is widely believed. He uses the lengthy history of small-scale farming by Indians in Peru, including contemporary practices and attitudes, to shed light on prospects for the future. During prolonged fieldwork among Peru's Quechua peasants and villagers in the mountains near Cuzco, Zimmerer found convincing evidence that much of the region's biodiversity is being skillfully conserved on a de facto basis, as has been true during centuries of tumultuous agrarian transitions.
Diversity occurs unevenly, however, because of the inability of poorer Quechua farmers to plant the same variety as their well-off neighbors and because land use pressures differ in different locations. Social, political, and economic upheavals have accentuated the unevenness, and Zimmerer's geographical findings are all the more important as a result. Diversity is indeed at serious risk, but not necessarily for the same reasons that have been cited by others. The originality of this study is in its correlation of ecological conservation, ethnic expression, and economic development.
"A significant contribution to our understanding of the local management of plant and animal genetic resources in the context of existing agricultural systems. . . . This bookwill be widely discussed."--Enrique Mayer, Yale University
"A significant contribution to our understanding of the local management of plant and animal genetic resources in the context of existing agricultural systems. . . . This book will be widely discussed."—Enrique Mayer, Yale University
Includes bibliographical references (p. 273-297) and index.
About the Author
Karl S. Zimmerer is Associate Professor of Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Table of Contents
1. Fields of Plenty and Want
2. The Great Historical Arch of Andean Biodiversity
3. Transitions in Farm Nature and Society, 1969-1990
4. Innovation and the Spaces of Biodiversity
5. Loss and Conservation of the Diverse Crops
6. Diversity's Sum: Geography, Ecology-Economy, and Culture
7. The Vicissitudes of Biodiversity's Fortune
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History and Social Science » Anthropology » Cultural Anthropology